This video provides guidance on how to use NCC Volume One to find and interpret information about Performance Requirements and compliance solutions.
Transcript - Using NCC Volume One;
[voiceover];Using NCC Volume One;
NCC Tutor Series;
The focus of this presentation is on how to use NCC Volume One, to find and interpret information about Performance Requirements and compliance solutions for Class 2-9 buildings, and some Class 1 and Class 10 buildings and structures.
This module is best viewed with a copy of the NCC on hand – to access the NCC, visit abcb.gov.au and register or log in to access it freely.
In this presentation you will learn:
What NCC Volume One contains
Where to get guidance on using NCC Volume One
How NCC Volume One is organised and where to find information within it
Key concepts in NCC Volume One
How to interpret the different Sections of Volume One
The focus in NCC Volume One is on requirements for multi-residential, commercial, industrial and public or institutional buildings.
The provisions within NCC Volume One that apply to Class 1 and 10 buildings generally relate to access for people with a disability.
NCC Volume One is sometimes referred to as the ‘BCA Volume One’.
NCC Volume Two is often referred to as ‘BCA Volume Two’ or the ‘Housing Provisions’.
NCC Volume Three is often referred to as the ‘Plumbing Code of Australia’ or ‘PCA’.
All of the resources shown here are non-mandatory. In other words, they do not contain any provisions that must be complied with. They contain only explanatory and guidance information. All the mandatory provisions are in NCC Volume One.
The Guide to NCC Volume One is updated and issued at the same time as NCC Volume One is updated.
The Guide to NCC Volume One is integrated with the online NCC Volume One. It is also available at the ABCB website as a separate PDF document.
The various handbooks are developed, updated and issued separately from the NCC and the Guide to NCC Volume One. They are also available at the ABCB website(abcb.gov.au).
Section A contains the Governing Requirements, which are the same in all three volumes of the NCC. You will find all the same information in Section A of Volume One as you will in Section 1 of Volume Two and Section A of Volume Three - just the numbering is different. This includes information on building classifications and referenced documents.
As the Governing Requirements is the same across all volumes of the NCC, it will not be discussed further in this module.
Sections B to J contain all the Performance Requirements, Verification Methods and DTS Provisions for Volume One, that is all those applicable to Class 2-9 buildings (and some Class 1b, and Class 10 buildings or structures). This includes Performance Requirements, Verification Methods and DTS Provisions for:
Health, independence, comfort and wellbeing (also known as amenity)
Safety, including fire safety, access and safe movement
A building’s energy efficiency, and;
A range of other aspects and special building types.
DTS Provisions for Volume One often include Specifications which provide detailed requirements for using some DTS Provisions. They must be complied with when developing a DTS Solution.
The structure of Volume One is similar to the structure of Volume Three, with the Performance Requirements, Verification Methods and DTS Provisions grouped across different sections. This is different from Volume Two, where Performance Requirements and Verification Methods are all gathered together in one section with the DTS Provisions in a separate section.
Volume One contains the same Schedules as the other volumes. Most of the text in the Schedules is identical across the three volumes, but the contents of Schedule 1 State and Territory Appendices do vary.
As the Schedules are more or less the same across all volumes of the NCC, they will not be discussed further in this presentation.
So, the remainder of this presentation focuses on understanding and using Sections B to J of Volume One of the NCC.
Let's look at four key concepts that need to be understood in order to interpret Volume One correctly.
The first key concept is rise in storeys.
In NCC Volume One, the rise in storeys of a building generally means the number of storeys above natural ground level and any storeys in the roof space.
The rise in storeys is calculated in accordance with C1.2 of Volume One.
The rise in storeys has an impact on a building’s risk of:
Exposure to radiant heat from a fire in another building.
Emitting radiant heat to another building;(this may cause damage to the other building or cause it to also catch on fire).
Also to occupants, who may need to travel down a stairway to safely evacuate the building.
A building’s rise in storeys is referenced in Sections C, D, E and G of NCC Volume One, and can determine which particular provisions might apply to a building. For example: It is central to identifying which rules apply when ensuring that a building can resist fire appropriately.
A number of concessions around fire resistance provisions depend in part on the building’s rise in storeys. This means that some provisions may not apply to a building below a certain rise in storeys, provided other conditions are met. For example C3.7 (Protection of doorways in horizontal exits) and C3.10 (Openings in fire-isolated lift shafts).
The number and location of fire exits in Class 9b buildings can depend in part on each building’s rise in storeys. For example D1.2(d).
The rise in storeys of a building is used to determine the type of construction (along with the building’s classification).
Let’s practice calculating the rise in storeys, what is the rise in storeys of the building shown in this image?
Rise in storeys is 7.
Underground floors don’t count in the calculation, since they are completely below natural ground level.
What difference does a firewall make to the calculation of the rise in storeys for this multi-unit development?
Without the firewall, the rise in storeys is for the entire development. In other words, the two-storey section must also be built to meet the fire protection provisions that apply to the four-storey section.
With the firewall, the rise in storeys is four for the left section and two for the right section. So, the provisions that would apply to each are potentially different.
The second key concept to understand is type of construction.
The type of construction required for a building depends on a combination of the building classification and the rise in storeys, which we looked at in the previous part of this presentation.
These two factors determine the risk to the building,and any other buildings and occupants from fire. For example:
The building classification points to a building’s likely use, fire load, population and the mobility of its occupants. For example whether they are likely to be asleep or alert in the event of a fire.
The height of the building determines the likely evacuation times and difficulty.
Thus, these two factors are used to determine the minimum type of fire-resisting construction required for Class 2 to 9 buildings.
The exact requirements for each type of construction are contained in Specification C1.1 in Volume One.
Some other factors will also determine fire resistance construction requirements, such as the size of individual fire compartments or atriums in a building.
There are special rules for some configurations of some building classifications, for example:
Buildings with multiple classifications(in Part C1.3)
Two storey Class 2, 3 or 9c buildings 9 (in Part C1.5)
Class 4 parts of buildings (in Part C1.6).
Some buildings can have more than one type of construction.
The requirements in Table C1.1 are DTS Provisions, and a designer or builder always has the option of developing a Performance Solution to meet the Performance Requirements.
Let’s test your knowledge with a few questions.
What type of construction is required for each of these buildings?
Class 3 building with two storeys
Class 7 building with four storeys
Class 9 building with three storeys
Class 5 building with one storey.
Take a moment to consider your answers.
Class 3 building with two storeys - Type B Construction
Class 7 building with four storeys – Type A Construction
Class 9 building with three storeys – Type A Construction
Class 5 building with one storey – Type C Construction
Which type of construction is the most fire resistant?
Yes, that’s right. Buildings that comply with Type A construction requirements have the greatest fire resistance.
The third key concept to understand is fire compartments. As per the NCC definition shown here, a fire compartment is essentially a space within a building that is bound by walls,a floor and ceiling, with fire resistant properties appropriate to its type of construction and building classification.
The maximum floor area of fire compartments required for a building depends on a combination of the building classification and the type of construction, which we looked at earlier.
The requirements in Table C2.2 are DTS Provisions, and a designer or builder always has the option of developing a Performance Solution to meet the Performance Requirements.
Alternatively, a designer or builder can choose to use different types of construction, which would change the requirements for fire compartmentation. For example, a building may only be required to be built using Type C construction. If this would result in a space or spaces (i.e. fire compartments) that are too small to be practical for the purpose of the building, then the designer or builder could use a more fire-resistant type of construction, i.e. Type B or Type A. This would then allow design and building of larger spaces, while still complying with the Performance Requirements.
There are special rules for large, isolated buildings of Class 5-9 in C2.3.
Let's have a go at interpreting table C2.2, maximum size of fire compartments or atria from Section C of Volume One. Pause this video to find this table from a copy of the NCC that you have on hand.
What is the maximum floor area for a fire compartment in these buildings?
Class 8 building, Type B construction
Class 7 building, Type C construction
Class 9b building, Type C construction
Class 9a building, Type A construction
Take a moment to consider your answers.
Class 8 building, Type B construction 3,500 m2
Class 7 building, Type C construction 2,000 m2
Class 9b building, Type C construction 3,000 m2
Class 9a building, Type A construction 5,000 m2
Now we've explored some key concepts and definitions of Volume One, let's learn more about what each section the Volume One covers.
While the different sections provide Performance Requirements, Verification Methods and DTS Provisions for specific design and building areas, they must be applied holistically. That is, you need to consider the impact of a decision in one area on requirements in other areas.
An Example includes; Formulating a Performance Solution to increase the prescribed distance of travel to an Exit (Section D Access and egress) that may affect the coverage requirements for fire fighting equipment (in Section E Services and equipment).
Let's now explore what each section contains.
Section B: Structural provisions that apply to all classes of buildings. A building or structure must be able to withstand any combination of loads and actions to which it may be reasonably subjected. These loads and actions are listed in BP1.1 and include both permanent and imposed actions, including wind action, snow action, and earthquake action.
All Performance Requirements are specified together at the start of Section B, then all Verification Methods, then all DTS Provisions.
This section relies heavily on referenced documents, in particular design standards such as the AS/NZS 1170 suite (Structural design actions) and construction standards such as the AS 2050 Installation of roof tiles and AS 1684 Residential timber – framed construction.
Section C focuses on fire resistance requirements for Class 2 to 9 buildings. It also contains requirements for items such as: Protection of openings in floors and ceilings, Fire resistance levels of building elements; Fire‐hazard properties for linings, materials and assemblies in buildings and also explanations of type of construction, rise in storeys, and fire compartmentation can be found in Section C.
Section D focuses on access and egress provisions for buildings and structures, including provisions for escape, construction of exits and access/egress for people with disabilities. The access provisions for people with a disability in the NCC reflect the requirements of the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards (Premises Standards) made under the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA).
The Premises Standards were developed to address the gap between building law and the DDA and to provide certainty in relation to what levels of access to public buildings would satisfy the general non-discrimination requirements of the DDA. This requires in a uniform set of requirements that both apply in relation to non-discriminatory access under the DDA and in relation to the requirements for access that must be complied with in order to obtain a building approval under building law. The Premises Standards were reviewed in 2015-2016, and amendments were made to the BCA in response to this review.
Section D also contains requirements for:
number of exits,
exit travel distances,
distance between exits,
discharge from exits,
fire isolated and non-fire isolated exits and stairs and ramps,
construction of exits,
stairways, balustrades, handrails,
width of doorways,
swing of doors and door latches, and
methods for determining the number of persons the building will accommodate.
Performance Requirements, Verification Methods and DTS Provisions are spread across the different parts.
Section E contains requirements for services and equipment installation in buildings. This includes fire fighting equipment, smoke hazard management, lifts, emergency and exit signs and warning systems.
Application of requirements may depend on the building classification and other triggers such as the building height, floor area and use.
Performance Requirements, Verification Methods and DTS Provisions are spread across the different parts.
Section F contains requirements designed to ensure that buildings provide for the health and amenity of users/occupants. It covers a broad range of requirements from waterproofing of wet areas to issues such as determining how many toilets are required in a building or how much natural light or ventilation a building is required to have or condensation.
Performance Requirements, Verification Methods and DTS Provisions are spread across the different parts.
Part G contains requirements for a broad range of structures and conditions, from construction of boilers, pressure vessels and heating appliances to construction in alpine and bushfire prone areas, and requirements for outdoor areas that can be occupied. Performance Requirements, Verification Methods and DTS Provisions are spread across the different parts.
Section H only contains additional DTS Provisions for certain special types of buildings. The relevant Performance Requirements are in the other sections of Volume One. The DTS Provisions in other sections also apply to these buildings.
Part H1 relates to theatres, stages and public halls and gives requirements for things like fixed seating areas, aisle lights and exits.
Part H2 contains requirements for access for people with disability in public transport buildings, such as railway stations, bus interchanges and ferry terminals.
Part H3 includes requirements for fire separation, fire fighting equipment, exits and emergency lighting for farm buildings and farm sheds.
Section J is the Energy efficiency requirements for Class 2 to 9 buildings. Section J came about as a result of a Council of Australian Governments or COAG decision in 2009 that a building is to be capable of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.
There are seven Parts, covering things like the building fabric and sealing, air-conditioning and ventilation systems, artificial lighting and power, heated water supply, water supply to swimming pools and spas, and facilities for energy monitoring.
The content of Parts J2 and J4 which existed in previous editions of Volume One, have been removed. The Part number has been retained so as not to change the numbering from previous editions. The content of the previous Part J2 has now been absorbed into Part J1.
Let’s now look at an example and practice interpreting the content of Volume One. This excerpt is of table E1.5, requirements for sprinklers. See if you can find the whole table in Part E1.5, sprinklers.
Take a moment to look at the table, then attempt the following question.
What criterion usually determines when a building of any class needs to have fire sprinklers?
One trigger for when a building is required to have fire sprinklers installed is when the building has an effective height of more than 25 metres. Effective height means that any part of the building is above this height.
However, the extract shows that there are some other triggers that apply to different classes and types of buildings.
Question 2 When does a Class 2 or 3 building – excluding a residential care building – require fire sprinklers?
A Class 2 or 3 building – excluding a residential care building – requires fire sprinklers if any part of the building has a rise in storeys of more than four, even if the effective height is less than 25 m. If the building has an effective height of more than 25 metres, sprinklers are also needed.
Question 3: When does a Class 3 building that is used as a residential care building require fire sprinklers?
A Class 3 building that is used as a residential care building requires fire sprinklers throughout the building and in any fire compartment that is used for residential care, regardless of the effective height of the building or any other factors.
So what did you learn?
All answers illustrated the concept of limitations to provisions.
That is, certain provisions may only apply if certain triggers exist.
Let’s have a look at this example.
Part F3.1, height of rooms and other spaces. See if you can find the whole part in NCC volume one. This part is an example of the DTS provisions for minimum room heights from
Section F, health and amenity. Take a moment to look at these provisions and attempt the following question.
Question 1: What is the difference in the minimum required height of a kitchen and other habitable room that is not a kitchen?
The minimum height of kitchen is 2.1 metres while the minimum height of a habitable room that is not a kitchen is 2.4 metres.
So, the difference is 0.3 of a metre.
Question 2: What minimum height applies to a habitable attic space with a sloped ceiling?
A habitable attic space must have a minimum height of 2.2m for not less than two thirds of the floor area of the room or space.
Match the Section with its subject…
Section C - Fire resistance
Section E – Services and equipment
Section H – Special use buildings
Section J – Energy efficiency
Let’ now look at some questions to help understand how best to interpret Sections B to J of Volume One.
Question 1. In Section C, fire resistance, what factors determine the minimum type of construction?
Part C1.1, type of construction required. Table C1.1, type of construction required, and type of construction depends on the building classification and rise in storeys.
Question 2. In Section D, where can we find specific reference to access and egress provisions for people with a disability?
Performance requirements, DP1, Access for people with a disability, Deemed-to-Satisfy provisions Part D3, Access for people with a disability.
Question 3. Section H of Volume One contains DTS provisions for special use buildings. Where can we find the performance requirements for these buildings?
In Sections B to J of Volume One.
Question 4. According to Section C, Fire resistance, when is a below-ground storey included in the calculation of a building's rise in storeys?
Part C1.2, calculation of rise in storeys, guide to NCC Volume One, Part C1.2, calculation of rise in storeys, when more than one metre of that storey is above natural ground level.
Question 5. According to the DTS provisions in Section E, what smoke hazard management devices must be installed in a Class 2 building that is more than 25 metres in effective height?
Part E2, Smoke hazard management, Part E2.2, General Requirements, table E.2, 2.2a, General Provisions. A Class 2 building that is more than 25 metres in effective height must be provided with an automatic smoke detection and alarm system that complies with Specification E2.2a.
And question 6. According to Part D2, construction of exits, when and where must barriers be installed to prevent falls?
D2.16, barriers to prevent falls. If the trafficable surface is one metre or more above the surface beneath, continuous barriers must be provided along the side of a roof with which building users can access, a stairway or ramp, a floor, corridor, hallway, balcony, deck, veranda, mezzanine, access bridge, or the like, and any delineated path of access to a building.
Let's check in with what we've learned so far about how to use Volume One?
Firstly we identify the building’s classification, rise in storeys and required type of construction.
We then identify the applicable Performance Requirements, Verification Methods and DTS Provisions in Sections B to J.
We then checked definitions and note exceptions, limitations and State or Territory variations to any Performance Requirements, Verification Methods or DTS Provisions.
And finally, we decide on use of a DTS Solution, Performance Solution or a combination of the two.
Match each Section with its subject…
Section B – Structure Section D – Access and egress Section F – Health and amenity Section G – Ancillary provisions
What type of construction is required?
The diagram shows the same three-storey building, but the intention is to build a Class 4 part of a building on the top storey.
What type of construction must be used for this building and why?
The type of construction applicable to the top storey applies to all the storeys below it. This does not apply if the top floor is a Class 4 part of a building.
The top storey is Class 2, therefore this Class applies to the whole building for the purposes of determining the required type of construction.
Rise in storeys is three, so the building therefore must be of at least Type A construction. Refer to Table C1.1.
What type of construction is required in this example?
The diagram shows the same three storey building, but the intention is to build a Class 4 part of a building on the top storey.
What type of construction must be used for this building, and why?
For the purposes of determining the type of construction, when the whole top storey of a multi-storey building is a Class 4 part of a building, the class of the next highest storey applies to the top storey.
The building therefore must be at least Type B construction. Refer to Table C1.1.
Note that if the Part 4 part of a building was only a portion of the top storey, then the type of construction would be determined by the class of the other part of the top storey.
What building classifications do the structural provisions in Section B apply to?
The structural provisions in Section B apply to all Class 2 to 9 buildings.
Other Sections of Volume One contain provisions that might apply to one or more classes of buildings and may have limitations in their application, based on things like the building height, rise in storeys etc.
True or False?
You must refer to the Guide to Volume One when identifying requirements for Class 2-9 buildings.
Yes, that’s right. The Guide to Volume One contains useful information and explanations, but NOT the mandatory requirements.
The key points from this presentation are:
Section B Structural provisions apply to all building classes.
Sections C to J provisions generally apply to particular classes and types of buildings, but may have limitations.
Key concepts in Volume Oneare: Rise in storeys, Type of construction and Fire compartments.
Different sections are organised in different ways
They may have Parts which group Performance Requirements, Verification Methods and DTS Provisions under topic areas.
The following documents on the ABCB website provide additional, non-mandatory guidance:. This includes the Guide to NCC Volume One and other handbooks on specific topics.
This brings us to the end of this presentation.
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